It seems like iOS camera apps are a dime a dozen these days, and each has it’s own flare. Camera Plus (not to be confused with Camera +) is focused on simplicity, and their AirSnap technology, which enables you to pair two iOS devices and use 1 as a remote monitor/shutter for the other. Now, with the latest update, Camera Plus and AirSnap come to the Apple Watch, but is it worth it?
If Camera Plus for iOS ($1.99 in the App Store) looks familiar, it probably could be because we reviewed their iOS App last fall. Here are some of the details of what Camera Plus has to offer (from our previous review):
“Camera Plus includes the usual camera controls, such as: Flash On/Off/Auto, a grid you can turn on to help you compose your shot, a burst mode, and a timer. But it’s the extra added touches for most standard features that sets the app apart from other “simple” camera apps.
…the on-screen grid that aids in composing the shot includes one part of the grid that shows when your camera shot is level. The shot timer is settable in 5 second increments from 5 seconds up to 30 seconds. The burst mode can take from 3 to 10 shots in succession, or take them for as long as you hold the shutter button. (Although I do wish the burst mode was faster.) An easy to use “Lumy” slider also allows you to easily adjust exposure before you take the shot.”
The stand out feature of Camera Plus, in my opinion, is the AirSnap feature, which enables 2 iOS devices to work together, using 1 as the primary camera device, and the other as a remote shutter and monitor. In their latest update, Camera Plus added another layer to AirSnap that brings that remote monitor/shutter/control to the Apple Watch, which means you can discreetly trigger your iPhone or iPad camera from your wrist.
While this same feature exists for the stock iOS camera app on iPhone & Apple Watch, the fine folks behind Camera Plus have added a couple cool tricks to their watch app to make it more sensible. Using Force Touch on the shutter screen, you can quickly enable the flash, turn on a shutter timer, flip the camera (from front to back or vice-veras), or switch between photo and video modes. These little features add a layer of convenience that makes it a great way to take photos without running back and forth from a camera on a tripod to the spot in frame.
While this is a great addition, I did notice (more than once in my testing) that the function tended to be somewhat flaky on the Watch side. While some delay between the iPhone and Apple Watch is tolerable and expected, on multiple occasions, I experienced a 5-10 second lag between what I was seeing and what was on the iPhone. Other times, the Apple Watch app would spin like it was trying to connect to the iPhone, then fail or would eventually appear to connect, but would display black instead of what the iPhone was seeing.
Some of this is certainly to blame on the way the Apple Watch relies on the iPhone to load apps, since most app data is actually stored on the iPhone and only pushed to the Watch when the app is loaded. Unfortunately, it could lead to dissatisfaction with users of the app when they experience these types of issues. Seeing how well Apple’s stock camera app and Apple Watch remote app work together, though, it leaves a little to be desired of Camera Plus in the Apple Watch realm.
For the iPhone, Camera Plus is a fantastic app that brings both camera and editing functions to the user in an easy to understand, easy to use, no-fuss manner. Their implementation of AirSnap for iPhone/iPad is wonderfully executed and is a great tool for any level of photographer. Unfortunately, much like other third-party Apple Watch apps currently available, their Apple Watch app (and likely Apple’s overall Watch OS) has some room for improvement in terms of stability, load time, and consistency.
Rating: [rating: 3.5/5.0]
- AirSnap is a brilliant feature that nearly anyone with multiple iOS devices can appreciate
- Editing suite is quick and easy to use
- Camera focus controls make getting macro or far away shots much easier.
- Apple Watch experience was inconsistent and dodgy at times.
If you want a fantastic alternative to the stock camera app, with easy to use and easy to understand camera controls, or have an Apple Watch and want to test out a third-party camera app, check out Camera Plus – $1.99 in the iOS App Store.